This photo was shared by Christine Caine on Instagram
This seems like a next good endeavor. Drinking good coffee and reading good books. When I read this graphic, I couldn’t help but think of two academics who would spend hours in this occupation (although the preferred beverage was either tea or stout depending on the time of day) and whose written works I have respected and enjoyed for decades: J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S.Lewis.
Everyone has their preferences for styles of writing and types of books to read. I get that. But I really think you would benefit from reading at least one of these books soon. Yes, even in this potentially busy season; it is important for you to sit and read a good book.
The Hobbit is coming out as a film with part two in two weeks. I know I would be hard pressed to finish that book in two weeks of occasional reading, but if you have time to really get lost in a good book then take it up. Fanciful characters of great imagination come to life under Tolkien’s masterful care. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, and his adventure is Tolkien’s main character with a vital supporting character in the wizard Gandalf. Dwarves, elves, a dragon and all manner of characters you won’t meet on the street are woven through the story of restoring a kingdom to it’s former glory. Smaug the Dragon sweeps in and takes over and well the rest is history. Why is this book an important read? The words. The images. The mystery. The adventure. The character transformation from self-focus to other focus. The redemption. All aspects that make any book a good book in my humble opinion.
I love to re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis. It’s one of the titles in his series The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis is quoted thus: “It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one until you have read an old one in between.” There is comfort in the familiarity. There are increasing bits of awareness that come as I re-read the progression of the lives and adventures of the characters. Good parts become quotable and they begin to change the way I think.
Both books were written by men whose lives had been transformed by the work of Jesus Christ. They lived and worked at their vocations as professors teaching ancient literature at Oxford yet they wrote of a kingdom once peaceful that was invaded, deluded, stolen, inhabited by evil. The entire trajectory of each book is the impact of change for good or evil and transformation within a character that becomes evident as the character lives out the internal change.
isn’t that who we are? Characters in a larger story, whose home has been changed, bewitched, dominated by evil and whose truer home is not of this world? I read these books to be reminded in another way of the Truth that is laid out for us in God’s Story: the original kingdom was invaded and the inhabitants were changed. The promise of redemption was given. The story progresses through the lives of regular people who have simple but vital parts to play to bring about the Kingdom work here. Redemption was fulfilled through the coming of a babe who lived his royal life hidden in the form of a human child.
This is what we anticipate in this season. We look back at the coming of the Baby Jesus. But we must also look forward to His Cross and beyond. He has completed the act of Redeeming His Kingdom. He has given us Himself to tell more people of His desire for them to return to His Kingdom. And He is coming back as the conqueror once and for all. But at that point according to the story, it will be too late to become a part of His Kingdom.
Our job, whatever it is we do with our hands on a daily basis, is to show His Presence and Power through our lives.
It’s good to read the Story to be reminded of the Truth.